About the Author: Adam Terry is a thirtysomething salesman in the HVAC and hydronics industry. He enjoys bourbon, boots, sneakers, raw denim, and working on his
dad bod father figure.
I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more. Just to be the guy who got to walk a thousand miles in these beautiful and supremely comfortable suede Diesel boots from Grant Stone. If you’re a Dappered regular, you’ve probably seen at least one or two of our previous Grant Stone reviews, but never have I ever looked into their suede boots or anything from them on a Vibram wedge sole before now. As we strut into Hot Guy Summer, you’re going to need a cool pair of kicks to wear and these velvety booties are (probably) just what the doctor ordered.
You’ll first notice the velvety soft British-made suede.
The Adam Review Scale of Excellence (A.R.S.E.)
- 5 – Excellent! No issues and highly recommended.
- 4 – Good. Above average, but not perfect.
- 3 – Average. Minor issues, might be good at the right price.
- 2 – Fair. Below average due to defects, flaws, or imperfections.
- 1 – Poor. Significant issues, not worth purchasing at any price.
Notice the heel cup that’ll lock your heel in.
- Brand: Grant Stone
- Style: Plain toe boot
- Size: 10 US (43 EU)
- Last: “Leo”
- Construction: Goodyear Welted
- Upper: Charles F. Stead Calf Suede
- Sole: Vibram Cavity Wedge
- Details: Brass eyelets/speed hooks, full leather lining, cork filler, and steel shank.
- Extras: Spare laces, metal shoe horn, and a signed thank you card.
- Country of Origin: Xiamen Island, China
- Price: $285 USD
A fantastically simple plain toe. 🙂
My tan suede Diesel boots were ordered late on a Friday evening, shipped out on Monday morning, and arrived early Wednesday evening. No complaints here! Grant Stone’s free standard shipping is normally UPS Ground service, so your delivery should be pretty quick, too.
FYI: Grant Stone offers a 15-day free return policy, assuming that the product is in new condition (no signs of wear, no creasing, etc.) while exchanges are handled through a return and rebuy process. Pay close attention to the return window if you’re not in love with the pair or size that you receive!
Score: 5/5 Stars – Easy ordering and quick shipping. Great customer service, too!
Grant Stone provides all the goodies.
Grant Stone nails the packaging design and unboxing experience. My boots arrived in their elegantly simple cardboard box that’s much nicer than it looks at first glance. Inside, the boots arrived shipped in individual, branded flannel shoe bags and came pre-laced with some dark brown leather laces. My shipment also included a thank you note, a how-to shoe care guide, and a small care package that included a mini metal shoe horn and a pair of waxed cotton laces. There’s also a piece of foam separating the boots and a removable cotton wrap that could be used as a cleaning cloth (or test carpet), should you need that. As usual, I’m super impressed with the Grant Stone kit, especially at this price point.
Score: 5/5 Stars – Nice storage box and I appreciate the extra laces, shoehorn, and thank you note.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and those first impressions are very valuable. Experts say that you have, on average, less than 30 seconds to impress someone. Luckily for Grant Stone, they continue to impress me each and every time I handle their shoes. Take these Diesel boots for example. Fresh out of the box, I first notice how velvety soft the British-made suede looks and feels. This shade of Repello suede from the great Charles F. Stead tannery is a light tan, somewhere between the color of eggnog and clean beach sand. In direct sunlight, it leans a bit warmer towards a tasty cappuccino. Repello suede is a finely napped calf leather and is treated with Scotchgard during the tannage to help resist stains and marks. Personally, I always use a spray-on waterproofer/ protector like Tarrago Nano, too.
Vibram 2060 “Cavity Wedge” Sport sole.
Style wise, this plain toe service boot pattern is fantastically simple. I picture these working very well in “smart casual” outfits with sport shirts and chinos, or more casual attire like a leather jacket, plain tee, and raw denim. Aside from formal suits or vacation swim trunks, I can’t imagine any garb where these wouldn’t, or couldn’t, play a vital role for many years to come.
Details are what can make or break a shoe. I’m personally a big fan of the antique bronze eyelets and speed hooks, which add both visual spirit and a bit of warmth to the style. The tonal double stitching used here and there throughout the upper is neatly done with no noticeable errors. I also like how the heel foxing/counter runs a little wider and higher, helping to create a heel cup that’ll lock your heel in and limit heel slip. As is standard with Grant Stone, they also use full-grain leather heel counters within the boots which tend to bend and mold to your foot better (and last longer) than the cheaper thermoplastic ones used elsewhere. The backstay flares out like a cobra’s hood, adding some structure and visual character to the back of an otherwise plain boot. There are no pull tabs, but I don’t think these boots really need them, either physically or aesthetically. I will note that the right boot had a small half-inch by quarter-inch mark by the eyelets that wouldn’t brush out, but it’s honestly not that noticeable from above. Unless you’re an Instagram influencer, no one else will notice or even care.
Antique bronze eyelets and speed hooks add to the looks of these boots.
The natural, vegetable-tanned flat leather welt is sourced from Barbour up in Massachusetts and looks fantastic against the light tan suede upper and cream colored Vibram wedge sole. Said welt runs 360 degrees around the boot and is wheeled for a little detail pop that most will never notice. The welt joint, where the two ends of the leather strip meet, is perfectly finished.
Looking underneath, you’ll see the Vibram 2060 “Cavity Wedge” Sport soles attached neatly to a vegetable-tanned leather midsole. Wedge soles can be hit or miss with some guys loving them, while others want something with more traction. Personally, I’m a fan of wedges after running a pair of Vibram Christy soles on my Viberg service boots. The type used on the Diesel boots has lines/ridges for a good amount of grip. Plus, they offer lighter weight with outstanding comfort right out of the box. The only downside, for me, is that I wear out wedge soles faster than leather or harder rubber soles. Luckily, they’re simply glued onto the leather midsole, so any competent cobbler can order and replace them in a jiffy.
The leather lining goes all the way down.
Finally, the interior is where you’ll be most impressed. Both boots are fully lined in American full-grain leather hide from Milwaukee, WI and the vegetable-tanned leather insoles will provide compressible planks of support for your piggies to nestle into. Over time, these leather insoles (and the cork filler underneath) will mold and bend to your feet, becoming more comfortable in time. A ribbed steel shank helps anchor everything down, creating a bit of extra lateral support.
Score: 5/5 Stars – Great! Well made from above average materials and construction at this price point.
Comfort, Fit, and Sizing
Comfort is always subjective, but among similar Goodyear welted shoes and boots, these Diesel boots are very comfortable to me. The full grain bovine lining, veg tan leather insole, and cork filler provide a great space for your feet to customize and mold into over a few wears. Give these booties a week and they’ll be your new go-to favorites. Over time, the suede uppers will soften up even more!
Wheeled 360 degree welt.
Grant Stone’s Leo last is essentially the same as Alden’s Barrie combination last, which tends to fit a half-size larger than the standard US Brannock size. It has a snug heel and a slightly wider toe box that feels very comfortable and forgiving for most people. My pair in 10 D feels just about perfect right out of the box. FYI: Grant Stone does offer E widths in some styles for those of you with Hobbit-like feet. For those of us with higher arches, I noticed no tightness or pain. All around these fit me very well.
I recommend trying a half-size down from your Brannock measurements, as these fit slightly large.
For reference, I am a 10.5 D/E on a Brannock device and usually take a 10 D in most dress shoes, including Alden’s Barrie last and Grant Stone’s Leo last. I take a 10.5 E in Allen Edmonds 65 last, as that last runs too narrow for me. I also take a 10.5 in Vans and an 11 in most Adidas or Nike sneakers.
Score: 5/5 Stars – VERY comfortable right out of the box. Fit is spot on, half size down from Brannock.
How much are these again? Only $285 with free shipping!? SIGN ME UP. All day, every day.
Seriously, these are some of the best boots you’ll find under that $300 budget hurdle. I absolutely love the dressed up, yet casual aesthetic of the light tan suede uppers, natural leather welt, and the squishy off-white Vibram wedge sole. If I had an open spot on my shoe rack, I’d make these a permanent addition and beat the ever living junk out of them. These are going to look even better in time with some wear and tear. If you’re a boot person and you’re in need of some Spring/Summer kicks, make sure to try these out. They’re fantastic.
Avg. Score: 5/5 Stars – BIG fan of these tan suede Diesel boots. Highly recommended!